Twitter and European Parliament elections

This summer I published two articles about the use of Twitter during the European Parliament Elections. Below are the abstracts of both articles

Online social networks and micro-blogging in political campaigning: The exploration of a new campaign tool and a new campaign style
Maurice Vergeer, Liesbeth Hermans and Steven Sams, published in Party Politics.
This study explores how candidates running for the European Parliament (EP) in 2009 used micro-blogging and online social networks – in this case Twitter (www.twitter.com) in the early stage of its adoption – to communicate and connect with citizens. Micro-blogging in general, and Twitter in particular, is one of the new and popular Web 2.0 applications, yet there has been little research focusing on the use of Twitter by politicians. After reviewing different types of campaigning strategies and introducing a new and distinct strategy, this descriptive and exploratory study focuses on political candidates’ use of micro-blogging and online social networking (i.e. Twitter) from a longitudinal, social network, and ideological perspective. The results clearly show that most candidates in 2009 still used Twitter reluctantly. Those who used Twitter did so predominantly for electoral campaigning and only sparingly for continuous campaigning. Candidates from progressive parties are the most active users of Twitter as a campaigning tool, whereas conservatives are virtually absent online. Although candidates’ first degree networks are still relatively small and unconnected, their second degree networks are quite extensive. Candidates from parties in opposition have more extensive first degree networks than those from ruling parties. Candidates from fringe parties show small online networks.
(for full article, follow this link)

Is the voter only a tweet away? Micro-blogging during the 2009 European Parliament campaign in the Netherlands
Maurice Vergeer. Liesbeth Hermans and Steven Sams, published in First Monday
This study explores the use of Twitter by candidates, in particular their networking and micro–blogging activities in the election campaign for the European Parliament elections of 2009 in the Netherlands. The main focus is on identifying what political aspects (e.g., party characteristics and candidate characteristics) influences their use of Twitter as a campaign tool. Furthermore, we explore the effectiveness of candidates’ activities on Twitter in gaining votes.
(for full article, follow this link)

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Maurice Vergeer

I am Maurice Vergeer, working at Communication Science department of the Radboud University Nijmegen, in the Netherlands.